Chapter 0132 Underground Battle
The next day.
Abel visited the Royal Alchemy Workshop with Ryo who met him at the Kingdom Magic Institute in the morning.
Thanks to having made an appointment yesterday, the alchemist Baron Kenneth Hayward was in the workshop.
Ryo and Kenneth quickly opened up and began talking about alchemy.
Abel returned to the Kingdom Magic Institute as soon as he was done with his task.
When he entered Ilarion’s office on the top floor, there were more people than when he left in the morning.
About seven people.
“Oh, Abel, sorry for the intrusion.”
The leader, the Hero Roman, saw Abel had returned and greeted him.
Abel could only return that answer.
Finding Rin, who had stayed in the house, he asked why the number of people increased.
“Oh … they left Flitwick’s residence.”
Rin heard that Nancy, the secretary of Viscount Othniel Fletcher, who manages the Duke’s residence, was the cause of yesterday’s conflict.
She made Gordon attack Abel in the guise of being injured by Abel.
But when things were over, Nancy wasn’t there anymore.
Everyone searched around for a while, but couldn’t find her.
Upon returning to the Duke’s residence, they heard that Nancy was found to be a foreign spy and was sent to the Duke City of Carlyle.
After one night, Hero Roman said he could no longer trust Viscount Fletcher so the whole party left the Duke’s residence.
By the way, Gordon remained crouched in the corner of the room since arriving there.
“Roman is a Hero so he has strong intuition or premonition ability. Their priest Graham said that.”
“I see … So that’s why they are here now …”
Ilarion’s office was quite large, but when the number of people increases from three to ten, it felt like it had increased quite significantly.
The original three were Abel, Rin, and Warren.
Rihya was still in the Sanctum and Ilarion had gone out three days ago and hadn’t returned yet.
“Sheesh … where did gramps go?”
“By the way, I remember the fast messenger from Stonelake coming and leaving a message … I remember him looking through that message and muttering 『Ryo』.”
Rin replied to Abel’s monologue, remembering the day Ilarion went out.
“Yeah, but Ryo is in the royal capital …”
“Yeah. He’s talking about alchemy with Kenneth at the Alchemy Workshop right now …”
As they were talking about that, suddenly they heard a mechanical sound from a corner of the room.
If Ryo heard it, he might have said ‘London air raid warning!’.
However, it was the first time those who were there heard the sound.
“What is that?”
While Rin and Abel were flustered, the door opened and Ilarion’s secretary Sura entered.
Then he went to a corner of the room and pressed the button on the box there, and the air raid warning sound stopped.
“This is Ilarion House. Please go ahead.”
Sura spoke to the box.
Then, a voice came back from the box.
It reminded Abel of the alchemy ball he had at the time of the infiltration.
It was a machine that picked up voices and delivered them to an alchemy box in a remote place.
“This is the Sanctum. It’s an emergency. Many things that aren’t humans are overflowing from the basement of the temple. If nothing is done, they will overflow to the royal capital. Please help us immediately.”
Abel turned to Sura and nodded immediately.
And when he looked at the Hero Roman, he nodded too.
“Currently, Ilarion is absent. However, the B-rank party Crimson Sword and the Hero Roman party are heading there as reinforcements.”
Crimson Sword and the Hero party jump out of the room faster than Sura ended his reply.
However, as he left the room, Abel asked Sura to convey a message.
“Contact Ryo at the Royal Alchemy Workshop.”
Gordon, who was crouching in the corner of the room, stood up and ran after them.
The Sanctum of Crystal Palace, the royal capital.
The center of worship of the Goddess of Light in the Kingdom of Knightley.
Located almost in the center of the royal capital, it was a place visited by ordinary citizens, aristocrats and royalty for prayer day and night.
The innermost and northernmost 『Silent Room』 in the Sanctum … with a dome-shaped high ceiling, it was an oval room with a radius of about 50 meters.
In the center of it was a crypt, a staircase leading down to the catacombs.
Currently, a battle was taking place in front of the stairs that go up from the second basement floor to the first basement floor.
“Kuh, no, we can’t hold them back any longer.”
“Monk squad retreat! Bombardment support accordingly!”
The 『Monks』 in the Kingdom were warrior monks.
Those who devote themselves to the Goddess of Light and continue to fight.
Some priests, such as Rihya from 『Crimson Sword』 and Etho from 『Room No. 10』, do participate in battle as adventurers, but they are at most rearguards.
However, 『Monks』 are vanguards who wear armor, hold staffs that have received holy blessings, and fight at the forefront.
Rarely, some work as adventurers, but most spend their lives in temples.
Therefore, although they cannot be said to have abundant combat experience, they were still a valuable force to hold the front line of this Sanctum defense line.
A dozen or so spears of light were released.
Each spear of light pierced several bodies.
The spears efficiently defeated their enemies without overlapping targets.
It was proof that they had gained experience in communicating their intent through the withdrawal battle from the fourth basement floor to the end of the first basement floor.
However, Rihya, the commander, was feeling quite anxious.
(Although we should have thinned their numbers considerably … the pressure does not seem to have decreased at all.)
Even if you defeat wave after wave, monsters kept appearing … Yes, it was like a Great Tidal Bore.
(Behind us is the first basement floor … even if we continue with a withdrawing battle, it will be difficult once we exit to the Silent Room … it is too wide.)
They had managed to take advantage of the narrowness of the catacombs and the narrowness of the stairs to reduce the contact area with the monsters and managed to persevere. But if they exit to the Silent Room which was oval-shaped, they would succumb to the pressure of numbers.
However, if they could defeat these enemies before they reach that point …
(First, that’s impossible.)
Rihya thought in her heart, but never expressed her thoughts in her expression.
Once the commander shows weakness, the unit would immediately lose power.
If the commander says it’s impossible to win, the battle can never be won.
If the commander had no confidence, the unit would be pushed back.
The commander plays such an important role.
In the first place, Rihya was in charge of the battle because she was appointed by Gabriel, the High Priest who was in charge of the Sanctum of the royal capital.
Originally, it would be most appropriate for the highest-ranking priest to take command.
With the authority of the High Priest, everyone who belongs to the Sanctum would obey.
However, Gabriel knew that he had no ability and experience in combat command.
In the first place, he was not good at fighting and had not had many experiences of endangering his own life.
Such a person could not calmly take command … moreover in a battle against a considerable number of monsters.
When Gabriel, the High Priest, realized that, he suddenly looked sideways.
There, Rihya stood, showing a dignified expression and strength of will, looking at those inhuman monsters.
He knew that Rihya was once called a saintess.
After all, Gabriel himself appointed Rihya as a saintess.
Gabriel could only think that it was just god’s will that Rihya was there at that moment.
That’s why he appointed her as the combat commander.
And, under Rihya, he led the artillery unit, following her instructions in full.
That sight made even those who were surprised that Rihya was appointed as combat commander agree to fight under Rihya.
Coupled with Rihya’s fame as a saintess, the support of Gabriel, the High Priest, and the full support of Monk Captain Gwain, they managed to hold the defense without failing.
“Preparing for bombardment. After bombardment, Monk Squad will charge once more.”
The Monk squad responded.
As expected of warrior monks. Their morale was still high.
It defeated a considerable number of enemies, mainly skeletons.
Some of them were goblins for some reason …
(Really … why are there goblins? I would understand if it is a monster within the bone type such as a skeleton or a spirit type like a Wraith … it’s a crypt after all. Of course, I’ve heard of that happening before. But I don’t understand how goblins appear here … where did they come from? And …)
The monk squad that charged after the bombardment shouted.
(Yeah! Ogres. How are Ogres, which are two and a half meters tall, found in this crypt with a ceiling which is only a little over two meters high at most …?)
An Ogre with a height of about 2 meters and 50 centimeters … would have to walk hunched in this catacomb.
Therefore, it could utilize neither its size nor its strength.
However, since they have terribly high durability, just a single Ogre causes the annihilation speed on the human side to rise sharply.
And as they spend time dealing with it, the monsters lagging behind would catch up.
(We can’t advance forward and it has to be a withdrawing battle …. Both the monk squad and the artillery squad have high morale, but their physical strength and magical power are not infinite. Why has the Kingdom’s Knights’ Order not arrived yet? They should have been contacted first? The Knights’ Station is just around the corner …)
Thinking so, Rihya looked toward Gabriel, the High Priest.
Gabriel also understood what Rihya wanted, but … shook his head.
In other words, the Knights have not come yet.
Rihya clenched her teeth, closed her eyes, and took a deep breath.
Deep breathing to calm down was very effective.
Then opened her eyes and gave instructions.
“Once you have defeated the Ogre, the monk squad will retreat for now. Bombard the enemy if they pursue.”
Even in the withdrawing battle, she bought as much time as possible between the second basement floor and the first floor until reinforcements arrived.
Rihya’s policy was consistent.
In front of the stairs from the second to the first basement floor, they were able to hold back for a considerable amount of time compared to the battle below the third basement floor.
However, they were finally reaching their limit.
“Abandon the second basement floor. The monk squad will suppress the enemy at the stairs. The artillery squad will withdraw to the first basement floor, the middle of the floor, and assume bombardment positions. After you are in position, the monk squad will also retreat to the center of the first floor.”
Up to this point, there had been quite a few injured personnel, mainly in the Monk squad, but miraculously no one had died.
Of course, because everyone was a priest, any injury would be healed quickly.
Therefore, they were fighting with virtually no damage suffered.
Originally, such a battle was impossible, but the advantage of the battle zone and the large number of priests made it possible.
Also, it may be that Rihya’s command was focused on 『minimizing sacrifice and buying time』.
However, Rihya knew that the physical strength of the Monk squad and the magical power of the artillery squad were both close to the limit.
Even if she knew it, there was nothing she could do about it.
Buy time and wait for reinforcements such as the Kingdom’s Knights’ Order … there was no other way.
“Artillery squad, withdrawal complete. Monk squad, retreat to the center of the first floor.”
According to her command, the monk squad that was holding down the enemy at the stairs retreated to the first basement floor and ran to the center.
The first was Captain Gwain, and the last was Deputy Captain Chase.
Both of them had overstretched their physical bodies at the forefront.
In other words, the two had expended the most physical and mental strength.
Captain Gwain arrived at the center of the first floor in a stumble.
However, at the rear, the last person suddenly fell.
Deputy Captain Chase had collapsed.
By the time Rihya noticed, a Hobgoblin was just behind Chase.
Rihya tried to chant Light Javelin.
However, her arm was grabbed from behind to stop her.
At that moment, she heard a chant.
“O Wind, Become a blade that cuts through the enemy by the will of the wind <Air Slash>”
At the same time, she saw a Swordsman running past like the wind.
The Air Slash Rin released sliced through the head of the Hobgoblin without missing.
Almost at the same time, Abel arrived at Deputy Captain Chase and returned to Rihya with Chase on his shoulder.
Rihya’s eyes were full of tears and they almost spilled out.
“We made you wait, Rihya.”
It was the reinforcements that the priests had been waiting for.
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